If I had to pick three words to describe my friend Béatrice Augier, they would have to be ‘free. strong. & creative’.
She has travelled the world, she is self-made, she knows what she wants … and what she doesn’t … she doesn’t take herself too seriously, and she is very good company. We first met at a lively and amusing dinner in the south of France, but as she lives in a beautiful town house on the Atlantic coast of Normandy, we are actually not that far apart.
When I drove to meet her for our photos last week, we were on the beach by seven am, talking non-stop. The morning sped by as we took our cameras into town, to her home and out to lunch. I don’t think we stopped talking for a minute.
Béatrice is a strong woman who has always led her life according to her own rules, and never been afraid to pick the unexpected route. She firmly believes in the importance of pushing the boundaries, of testing yourself and daring to go against the grain.
At the tender age of twenty, she got her first job with the press service to Yves Saint Laurent. Two years later, she understood that she had a fantastic job, but that it was becoming too comfortable and that if she stayed there she risked spending her life in the same workplace rather than getting out to discover the wider world. Against the advice of those around her she handed in her notice.
Her professional path has been diverse but never boring. With a training in communication, she has had restaurants, worked for Dior, worked for Publicis in Paris, and for a long time she held down a fantastic job handling public relations for Cartier. The job at Cartier was prestigious; exciting times of unlimited budgets and a creative buzz that made anything possible. But here again, she was afraid of the predictable, the too-comfortable that would make her forget her longing to travel, to discover, to challenge herself to go the extra mile.
When she left Cartier she was already married to Philippe, who happens to be the Mayor of the chic seaside town of Deauville. Whatever her new occupation was to be, it had to be based in Deauville. She started dealing in antiques and brocante. This went well, and before long she was advising clients on how to furnish their homes. Within a couple of years she had her own highly successful interior design company, with an adjacent art gallery.
She designed and furnished homes in Normandy, Paris and abroad. Her jet-setting clients were drawn by her rich colours and ability to create a cosy yet chic atmosphere. Her own home is a tribute to her style. Colourful and richly furnished, the stylish town-house with a charming little garden is within walking distance of the beach and the town centre.
Béatrice’s address books is impressive. People are attracted to this intelligent, friendly energetic woman. Approaching an age when many would be thinking about retirement, Beatrice is playing tennis every day; hitting the beach with her camera early in the morning; painting huge canvases and happily supporting her husband in his official role as Mayor to a town that has already held a G7 conference, and which each year hosts the American Film Festival.
Although Deauville is a small town, it has traditionally been the ocean-side playground for Parisians who like to get out to the country without forgoing their chic shopping, good hotels and restaurants. There is an air of glamour to Deauville and great efforts are made to preserve the architecture and quality of life in the town. Whether it’s precious stones; the perfect handbag or the latest fashion, all the big names are here, just a stone’s throw from the beach.
As wife to the Mayor, Béatrice is often at the forefront for high profile events in town. Be it hosting the American Ambassador; welcoming the stars to the film festival or assisting with a political summit. Philippe knows he can count on Béatrice to fit the part in any situation.
There is a palpable hunger for life in everything Béatrice does. She is a great listener, and always curious to understand the people around her. She travels frequently. Sometimes for work, sometimes for leisure, and sometimes simply because she has read about a beautiful hotel and wants to check it out. She never forgets to pack her camera and publishes her travel photos in a series of books for her own record. She especially loves to take portrait photos, and assembles them by theme: women in Burma; families on the beach; and more recently portraits of visitors to the Paris Fashion Week.
As well as taking photos, Béatrice also paints. At the moment she is creating huge oil paintings of flowers. Some she keeps for herself and some she sells, as single paintings or in pairs or groups.
It is a privilege for me to know this energetic and strong woman, who once again reminds us of the importance of creating every day; of making every moment count and of opening ourselves up to the world.
If you would like to see what Béatrice gets up to then you can follow her on instagram, right here. If you are interested in purchasing one of her paintings, then the best thing is to email her directly just here, or if you prefer you can contact me and I’ll put you in touch.
I hope you enjoyed meeting My Stylish French Girlfriend Béatrice. If you want to see more of my friends, then you are welcome to take a look here. And quite soon I’ll be telling you how you can pre-order my book about many other of the Stylish French women that I am proud to count as my friends.